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OCDSB 2020-21 Annual Budget Approved

OCDSB 2020-21 Annual Budget Approved
Posted on 08/27/2020
OCDSB 2020-21 Annual Budget Approved

At a Special Board meeting on Wednesday, August 26, Trustees approved the OCDSB 2020-21 operating budget of $1,008.3 million, capital budget of $97.9 million and the use of $5.4 million in recently announced Ministry grants to address incremental instruction and school operation costs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 2020-2021, the recommended budget reflects positive changes in the level of services for students while also addressing a number of one-time pressures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget contains previously approved increases in the number of teachers in response to enrolment growth, more specialized classes for students with special needs, increases to supports in Learning Support Services (LSS) including additional educational assistants (EA) and additional staffing to address the ongoing behavioural and mental health issues that are impacting students.

The 2020-21 budget includes an expected deficit of $17.7 million, due to the combination of lower than expected revenue and increased expenses related to COVID-19. On August 14, 2020, the Ministry announced that school boards having sufficient accumulated surplus could have a deficit of 2% of the operating grants. Application of the increased authority will allow the District to use close to $17.7 million of its accumulated surplus.

The significant uncertainties arising from COVID-19 public health issues have made planning for 2020-2021 an unprecedented challenge. Staff acknowledges that the estimates will need to be updated as the year progresses. Incremental costs incurred by the District to respond to the needs of staff and students will be tracked and reflected in budget updates.

“This has been a very challenging budget year. We have worked hard to address the concerns of staff and families about the importance of ensuring that our budget was structured to address the unique challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Trustee Sandra Schwartz, Committee of the Whole Budget Chair. “With the support of staff, committee members including our community representatives, and the input of many eloquent delegations, we were able to put together a budget that supports the safety of students and staff in all of our learning environments.” 

According to Trustee Lynn Scott, Chair of the Board, “At this time of unprecedented uncertainty, the Board of Trustees has approved a balanced budget that we believe is sustainable, responsive to the needs of our students for additional supports, and reflective of the current COVID-19 pressures in the context of our strategic objectives of creating a culture of innovation, caring and social responsibility, in accordance with our fiduciary responsibility.”

Highlights from 2020-21 Budget

  • A projected revenue increase of $19.4 million is expected in 2020-2021. This is a 2.0% increase over the revenue budgeted for 2019-2020. The increase reflects the additional revenue generated by enrolment growth, funding of the negotiated wage increases provided for by ratified collective agreements, and new funding provided by the Supports for Students Fund (SSF) grants. 
  • Total capital spending authorization is $97.9 million.
  • 218.93 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, which has increased the approved staff complement to 8,370.16 FTE. The increase includes: 59.52 FTE teachers and school administration staff, 126.45 FTE administrative and support staff, and 32.96 additional FTE staff 

Planned spending supported using recently announced Ministry grants to respond to COVID-19 related effects:

  • Technology investments: $529,000
  • Mental health supports: $398,000
  • Enhanced cleaning: $1,957,000
  • Health and safety training: $370,000
  • Special education funding: $265,000
  • Elementary school funding of 12.0 FTE teachers: $1,301,000
  • Remote learning and virtual schools: $552,000

Background:

Report 20-063, 2020-21 Staff Recommended Budget (July 21, 2020)

2020-21 Staff Recommended Budget Binder (July 21, 2020)

Memo 20-111, Addendum to the 2020-21 Staff Recommended Budget (Aug. 18, 2020)

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